Bees are vanishing across America, according to Yahoo Voices. More than one quarter of the 2.4 million colonies have been lost to unknown causes. That's tens of billions of bees.
Honeybees are important to the human food chain. They are the principle pollinators of hundreds of fruits, vegetables, flowers and nuts.
“We need bees very badly,” said local bee charmer J.T. Wheat. “If someone locates bees on their property, they should not try to harm or kill them whatsoever, but call me or someone else who knows how to handle them safely.”
LSU Ag Center Extension Agent Terry Erwin said there are approximately half a dozen people in Morehouse Parish who collect bees.
“They're aren't very many,” Erwin said.
The number of bee colonies has been declining since the 1940's, Yahoo Voices stated. The loss of bees has been reported numerous times in the last century but, researchers have reason to believe they're dealing with something new or at least something that is previously unidentified.
“They're not sure what's happening to them,” Wheat said. “I've read and witnessed several bee collectors who've walked outside to find all their bees gone or on the ground dead. They have no idea why this is happening.”
Wheat located a swarm of bees last week at the corner of Hwy. 165 and Vine Street. He took the precautionary measures to provide them a box for shelter, while the bees swarmed all around him.
“They won't hurt you right now, while they get their bearings,” he said. “If I come back in a little while though, they'll attack. You must know what you're doing to handle bees or you could get seriously hurt.”
If you locate bees on your property that need to be safely removed, call Wheat at 281.2426 or the LSU Ag Center at 281.5741.